November 18, 2022
Massachusetts Individual Sentenced for Illegally Operating a Helicopter
On November 18, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts sentenced Antonio Santonastaso to 8 months of incarceration, 1 year of supervised release, and a $300 special assessment. In April 2022, a Federal jury convicted Santonastaso of serving as an airman without an airman’s certificate, making false statements to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and attempting to tamper with a witness. In 2000, Santonastaso’s airman’s certificate was revoked after stealing a helicopter from Norwood Airport. Despite not possessing a valid certificate, Santonastaso purchased a helicopter and made approximately 50 flights between April and November 2018. Santonastaso also made false statements to FAA inspectors and attempted to hinder, delay, and prevent an airport manager from reporting Santonastaso's illegal helicopter flights.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with assistance from FAA.